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11/21/2008 07:47 AM     print story email story  

Clean-Diesel Volkswagen Wins Green Car of the Year News

Volkswagen's (VOW.DE) 2009 Jetta TDI has been named Green Car Journal's 2009 Green Car of the Year, besting competitors that included a pair of hybrids, a clean-diesel sport sedan, and a trendy fuel-efficient microcar.

This is the first time that a clean-diesel model has been awarded the title Green Car of the Year. 

Volkswagen's Jetta TDI features a 2.0-liter, turbocharged direct injection engine, featuring the latest in diesel injection and emissions technology that allows it to meet strict emissions standards in all 50 states.

Green Car Journal, which has been unveiling the Green Car of the Year winner at the LA Auto Show since 2005, said in addition to its eco-friendly specs, the car also outperformed its competitors with "abundant low-end torque" and a "well-tuned suspension."

"The 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI epitomizes what the Green Car of the Year honor is all about," said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal. "It raises the bar significantly in environmental performance with its EPA estimated 41 mpg highway fuel economy, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and extremely low tailpipe emissions. This is all the more impressive when you consider the Jetta TDI is a clean diesel, achieving the kind of fuel efficiency offered by gasoline-electric hybrids but in a more affordable way."

A jury of environmental and automotive experts selected the 2009 Jetta TDI from the field of five finalists that also included the BMW 335d, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Saturn Vue 2 Mode Hybrid, and smart fortwo. The Jetta TDI is priced at $21,990.

"Jetta TDI shows that advanced clean diesel has arrived and is poised to change this dynamic," Cogan said. "With its affordable price point, refined ride and handling, and high fuel economy, the Jetta TDI shows that hybrids now have a strong competitor in the marketplace."

Earlier this year the Jetta TDI set a new Guinness World Record for Lowest Fuel Consumption as it averaged 58.82 miles per gallon as it traveled through the 48 contiguous states. EPA research has concluded that if diesels were to power one third of all light duty vehicles in the United States, the shift would save approximately 1.4 million barrels of oil a day--equal to the daily shipments from Saudi Arabia to the U.S.

The jury is comprised of nine jurors including Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society; automotive expert and Tonight Show host Jay Leno; automotive icon Carroll Shelby; and four Green Car Journal editors.

More LA Auto Show coverage.

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